DRS – EXPANDING THROUGH LIFE CAPABILITIES
By Julian Nettlefold, Editor, BATTLESPACE
18 Jun 07. Dr Mitch Rambler, President of the DRS Technical Services segment gave BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold a brief on the company’s aspirations to develop its Through Life Support Business
DRS Technologies is a leading supplier of integrated products, services and support to military forces, intelligence agencies and prime contractors worldwide. TSI Engineering and Logistics Depot Operations are focused through a US Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security Aviation Center of Excellence.
Dr Rambler gave the Editor a snapshot view of its Elizabeth City operation for support of the U.S. Coast Guard Fleet
“We provide high-technology one-stop-shop product and services support to the U.S. Coast Guard C-130H fleet, where the Company employs approximately 200 people in a world-class facility covering 12 acres in the Elizabeth City area. Because of the problems in obtaining Government funding to build new facilities, DRS has invested $20m in the construction of the Joint facility. The Coast Guard fly its aircraft into Elizabeth City where both the customer and DRS sit side-by-side in the facility. This enables DRS to provide fast and efficient services to turn around the aircraft in less than 200 days after a major overhaul. We work directly with the customer and where appropriate can machine parts. Given that these aircraft fly over the sae and thus experience salt corrosion problems, DRS has developed a very comprehensive study of the Coast Guard’s exposure to hazardous chromates. We have a selected list of suppliers who ship parts direct to our plant. The facility in effect provides ‘Power-By-The Hour life extension to the fleet. The approximately value of $20m of business to the Elizabeth City Area and 150+ new jobs.
12 + Acres
115,000 sq ft Facility
80,000 sq ft Maintenance Space
35,000 sq ft Office, Conference and Training Space
100,000 sq ft Apron
Capable of Housing 4 HC130s
DRS Technical Service’s has developed sophisticated systems to leverage emerging technology solutions to the very difficult and costly problems arising from continued support of aging aircraft. The company has a Partnership with NCSU – IMST (Institute for Maintenance, Science and Technology). This ties together an engineering perspective of “real” technical problems with the brain power and advanced technology. DRS is also examining future applications of new technologies in agile manufacturing Research partners with NCSU and NASA. This technology enables the blending of two technologies to provide crack monitoring on critical components, without costly non destructive techniques. Not possible without such a partnership.
“Do you intend to establish this capability outside the U.S.?” the Editor asked.
“Absolutely,“ Mitch Rambler said, “we are talking to Israel about life extension to its fleet of C-130E aircraft. There are at least 4000 C-130 types around the world, many of which are reaching the end of their current life, particularly due to delays in the A400M Programme which has caused consideration by some countries to consider extensions to their existing C-130 fleets.
Other Programmes that DRS is involved with include:
Government of Kenya: Provide depot level repair and modification of Foreign Military Sales (FMS) MD 500 components.
Royal Saudi AF: Multi-national repair and return contract to support Royal Saudi Arabian F-15 aircraft, (Multiple Components).
Support Warner Robins Air Logistics Center: C-130 Directorate by overhauling/ repairing of the 54H60-117 Propeller Components.
Air Force Security Center: Provide support to AFSAC for the Pakistan Air Force
(PAF) for Supply Requisitions to support their aircraft fleet.
E-4 B VHF/FM Radio Replacement: Design, develop, procure, fabricate, install, and test an FAA approved modification that provides a replacement VHF-FM radio system o